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Updated by Ratlift on Jul 18, 2018
Headline for 8 Reasons Rats Are Awesome Pets
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8 Reasons Rats Are Awesome Pets

Rats may not have the best reputation, but these unusual pets have a lot to offer. Here are a few reasons fancy rats are among the best companion animals.


Rats are smart.

Fancy rats (Rattus norvegicus) are clever critters. They've demonstrated the ability to use tools and in some areas of intelligence, they even have humans beat.

They are highly trainable and rat agility is the cutest thing in all of ever.

Rats easily learn their names and can be taught all kinds of tricks. They can even learn to run tiny, adorable agility courses.


Rats are unlikely to bite.

Rats are unlikely to bite.

Healthy, well-reared fancy rats are very unlikely to bite and have fantastic bite inhibition. Not only are rats far less likely to bite than dogs, cats, or hamsters, traditionally the go-to starter pet for children, you're 10 times more likely to be bitten by a fellow human than a rat.


Rats are capable of and known to show empathy.

Rats are capable of and known to show empathy.

A study done at The University of Chicago showed that rats readily engage in pro-social behavior (behavior intended to benefit another). During the course of this study, the rats not only freed fellow rats they didn't know, they even shared their chocolate with these strangers, which makes them better than me.


Rats are social butterflies.

Rats are highly social animals and form close bonds with their humans and cage mates, making them loving, affectionate companions.


Rats are exceptionally clean.

They are fastidious groomers, spending even more time grooming than cats. Like cats, rats, too, can be litter-trained.


Rats are full of personality.

Rats each have their own unique personalities, just like humans.